New latrine opened at Cedar Bay
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
Cedar Bay recently opened access to its newly built latrine, improving safety and accessibility at the facility.
“They are open and wonderful! Paul Brinkman with Minnitaki Carpentry built them. One side is kids, one is adult/accessible. We are very happy with them,” shared Friends of Cedar Bay (FCB) Chair Bobbi Roberts.
This is one of the projects that was made possible through a federal and provincial grant that Friends of Cedar Bay received in March, which they had applied for last year. Roberts shared that the requirement for an accessible bathroom and an electrical upgrade were the big drivers behind applying for this grant.
Cedar Bay was chosen as one of seven projects that received an infrastructure grant to improve community and recreational facilities in six Northern Ontario communities. Roberts shared, “Once we received approval, we went ahead and were done within a month!”
Roberts added that the electrical upgrades are now complete, including power to both outhouse and pavilion.
She shared that they are currently working out the details to submit a proposal for development of a Forest Therapy Area, under the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative Grant, in partnership with the Global Institute of Forest Therapy, along with support from other organizations in town. “We are hoping to create a highly interactive, sensory-engaging space in nature, which becomes a focal point for trail-goers, respite for nearby hospital workers and patients seeking the solace and safe out of doors area to ‘recharge.’ The self-guided section of this trail enables a therapeutic experience of the passive healing powers of the natural world, cultivated by the deep reflective nature of self-guided invitations (forest and land therapy),” she added. Roberts is currently training to become a Forest Therapy Guide.
She explained that the concept, known as Shirin Yoku or Forest Bathing, was developed nearly 30 years ago in Japan to combat stress. Different from a walk in the forest, Roberts shared that these walks were slow, mindful, and had a pattern that took people into their parasympathetic nervous system. She added that research over the years has also shown that Forest Bathing helps lower cortisol levels (stress hormone), decrease blood pressure, increase immunity, better mental clarity, and relaxation that lasts for days.
“I think that this is especially important for our community during these trying times when stress is high, but also as an eco-tourism attraction as we look forward to when things open up,” shared Roberts. Friends of Cedar Bay are also looking at purchasing a tractor to continue the stable’s operations.